If You Want to Arbitrate, You Should Probably Be Able to Prove an Arbitration Agreement Exists

Look, I get it.  For large companies, it’s impossible to keep copies of every document sent to customers.  Instead, you keep records of what was sent when, along with sample copies.  That’s much easier and cheaper than keeping copies of everything (though I imagine the American Warehouse Association–if that exists; if not, then dibs!–would encourage you to keep at least three copies of everything forever!).

But when you want to compel someone to arbitrate and you can’t produce the contract that says you have to arbitrate, that can be a problem for courts, as Citigroup recently learned in California federal court.  In fact, the existence of an arbitration agreement is the first element a court has to address, so, really, you’ve basically got to nail that one.  I’m not faulting Citigroup or the lawyers here.  I’m just sayin’.

Your Honor, it’s got to be in there somewhere…

About Brian Jones

I represent clients in all aspects of business litigation, but focus my practice on complex litigation and arbitration matters concerning insurance and reinsurance, antitrust, class actions, securities, real estate disputes, and contract matters. I am the co-chair of the Bose McKinney & Evans Insurance Group. I was listed in the 2017 and 2016 "Best Lawyers in America" for Insurance Coverage and named a "Rising Star" in Insurance Coverage by Super Lawyers in Indiana in 2014. I was also named a "Rising Star" in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers in Indiana in 2013 and 2012, and a 2010 “Rising Star” in Business Litigation in Texas. I am a member of the State Bars of Indiana and Texas, the Defense Research Institute, a former member of the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, and I am licensed to practice before all state courts in Indiana and Texas, as well as all federal courts in Indiana, the Northern, Western, and Southern Districts of Texas, the Northern District of Illinois, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits. I received my bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in political science and my master’s degree in teaching from Trinity University, where I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. I received my doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where I was the Director of Communications for the Legal Research Board and a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honor Society. Before attending law school, I taught high school geography, government and economics in San Antonio, Texas.
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